Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash

What does well-being mean to you?

One wintery walk in January, I overheard these real life conversations, which got me to thinking about the meaning of well-being.

Two friends shopping for clothes…

“How do you stay so thin?”

“I’m not thin, I wish I was! I go to spin class 6 days a week and go running 3 times a week, and I’m having all these diet shakes and I’m still a size 8. I really want to drop another stone or two, then I will be happy.”

Mum and daughter at a cafe…


“Is it your back again?”

“Yep, it’s been really hurting me this last year. “

“Why don’t you go to Pilates Mum? It’s been great for my back after I had Ella (points to baby).”

“Oh I’m too far too past it for that. When you get older, you just have to put up with this stuff.”

A Personal Trainer and client in the park…

“So just make everything you eat is 600 calories. Best to have no grains, no gluten, no dairy, no carbs, no meat, no sugar, no soy. I prepare the same 3 meals in tupperware boxes for the whole 7 days in advance and just eat that.”

“Can I have wine?!”

“Absolutely. Sometimes I save up the calories for the weekend if I want a good night out with the lads.”

Woman in the park talking to friend about celeb fitness…

“I used to follow everything she said (insert celebrity fitness influencer’s name) cos she looked wicked on Insta with her rock hard abs and tiny bod and would talk about how you could look like her if you followed her advice. She told everyone to eat clean, she got up at 5am to do HIIT every day and had all these Self Love hashtags, but it turned out she was taking speed to stay thin, was hospitalised for body dysmorphia and purging and smoked 30 a day!”

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

So which is it?

  • Can you appear thin and healthy to others yet have a mentally unwell attitude to health?
  • Is health something you can dib in and out of?
  • Do you think you’re too old, too unfit, too past it to even start making good healthy choices?
  • Are you obsessing about exercise or food so much that life is just so boring and micro managed?
  • Do you count calories and leave out food calories for wine binges?
  • Are you healthy if you’re talking about well-being talk but not actually believing it and don’t practice well-doing ?
  • Can you be healthy if you can’t be arsed to get off the sofa?

Wellness is balance

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is defined as being:

“a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

To help you think about Well-being, this assessment tool by Deepak Chopra can help guide you in self-reflection in
order to recognise the areas of your life that you are inspired to focus on, while letting go of those that are not a priority. Like having a magnifying glass to look into your life. Zoom in on what you need and zoom out from what is weighing you down. (ok, maybe not Zoom- as a result of lockdowns, I think we’ve had quite enough of Zoom!)

It’s not a checklist of things you should or shouldn’t be doing. It’s a check-in to evaluate what is right for you.

Deepak Chopra.
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